Gran Canaria Desktop Summit site

11:49 am community, gnome, guadec, maemo
The Auditorium building

The Auditorium building

Last week, I travelled with vuntz to Gran Canaria, where we met up with Alberto Ruiz, Sebastian Kügler, Will Stephenson and Claudia Rauch,  along with the local organising team Augustín, Miki, Kuka and others to have a series of meetings about the upcoming Gran Canaria Desktop Summit (July 3rd to July 11th 2009).

We had a series of press conferences and interviews interspersed with meetings with the local organising team, among ourselves, with the Cabildo (the local government), and the management of the conference center on a very wide range of topics (and I plan on writing a post or two on some of the interesting issues we’re facing another time).

The conference will be held in the Auditorium, a “palacio de congresos” near the beack in Las Palmas:

View from the stage of the symphony hall

View from the stage of the symphony hall

View from the peanut gallery

View from the peanut gallery

This is an amazing theater, and well fit for a symphony orchestra, and on the first day of the conference, the 4th of July, we plan to fill over 1000 seats.

Some of the goals of the conference this year, from the point of view of the Cabildo who are supporting us, are to increase local awareness of free software as a credible alternative, and to grow the local free software industry. As part opf these, we will be working to run some Spanish language tutorials and presentations, and the Cabildo’s press office will be working hard to ensure that the conference opening will get some great media coverage.

With that said, it was reassuring to heard Dr. Roberto Moreno of the Cabildo reinforce his committment to have a conference for the communities, and not let politics and media get in the way of getting together and working. I am hopeful that we can reconcile both, and have some nice local and international coverage of cool stuff coming out of the communities who will be attending.

The conference center is much larger than the symphony hall, and there are some beautiful conference facilities available to us. Space is money, however, so to get the most out of the generous Cabildo support, and to get the most out of the conference, we should limit the space we request (again, no-one wants to see half-empty theaters). We will likely be using the two San Borondón halls plus the Alegranza hall for the major parts of the conference, with a couple of other halls for smaller presentations.

Sebas from KDE in the Alegranza Hall

Sebas from KDE in the Alegranza Hall

San Borondón A

San Borondón A

What you don’t see in the pictures is the magnificent panoramic view of the sea which you have in the Alegranza Hall (where we’re thinking of putting sponsors stands and hang-out space) or the similarly-sized but lower-ceilinged room  (San Borondón B) to the left of San Borondón A, which can be split into 5 classroom-sized  halls for small presentations or BOFs.

The visit went great, and reassured me that everyone is more or less on the same wavelength. We’re a little behind on a couple of things, but nothing we can’t catch up with quickly, I hope. The local team are great, and I expect the conference to become *the* place to go for free desktop developers all through the stack (from FreeDesktop.org to application developers) this July.

2 Responses

  1. Daniel Alonso Says:

    2008 is almost finishing, are you sure the Summit is not happening on 2009? ;-)

  2. Christopher Blizzard Says:

    Wow, looks great!